Venezuela's deadly year

The attention right now may be focused on President Hugo Chavez's health, but InsightCrime shares another grim milestone for Venezuela:

The Venezuelan Observatory Of Violence (Observatorio Venezolano de la Violencia) has released its study on homicides during 2012, which put the national homicide rate at 73 per 100,000 of the population, with Caracas registering 122 per 100,000. As a point of comparison, neighboring Colombia, still in the midst of the civil conflict, last year registered just over 31 homicides per 100,000.

The study was conducted by the NGO working with six national universities. It put the number of homicides during the year at 21,692, a significant increase on 2011 (19,336), which was went down as the most violent year on record in Venezuelan history.

If the study's findings are true, it would give Venezuela the highest murder rate in South America and -- most likely -- the second highest in the world after Honduras, which saw 91.6 homicides per 100,000 people in 2011 according to the UNODC. The orginzation's most recent statistics, released last year, had Venezuela tied with Jamaica at a homicide rate of 40.9 behind Honduras, El Salvador, and Ivory Coast.

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Reflections on 2012 from the Taliban

Over at Jihadology, FP contributor Aaron Y. Zelin posts a translation of the  Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan's "Quick Glance at 2012 Jih?d? Achievements (Part 1)". They are in a boastful mood: 

To sum up 2012 in one sentence it would be ‘The beginning of the invaders scamper'. Thirty thousand American troops fled from the heated battle fields this year and on top of this, France brought its combat mission to an end and withdrew all its forces the same way they had come; Belgium began its retreat on 7th of August by withdrawing 230 troops; New Zealand followed suit and declared early withdrawal after attacks on its troops in Bamiyan and the Prime Minister of Britain also jumped on the retreat bandwagon be announcing early withdrawal of its troops from Helmand province during a visit to Afghanistan.

There's also some historical perspective:

When America faced utter destruction in Vietnam, they came up with the formula ‘declare victory and run' and want to utilize the formula of ‘transfer security and run' here in Afghanistan